2point6billion.com discusses business and investment news rising from the geopolitical relations of China and India, and the interactions these two countries have with the rest of emerging Asia.
Not surprising, three emerging Asian countries out of the top five were voted as the most likely to pay bribes to win business in other countries. In a survey conducted by anti-corruption organization Transparency International, Russia was voted the most likely to pay bribes, followed by China and India. Conversely, wealthier, more developed countries Belgium, Canada and the Netherlands were voted the least likely to pay bribes to win business in other countries.
In the previous Bribe Payers Index (BPI), published in 2006, India was named as the worst, followed by China and Russia, while Switzerland, Sweden and Australia got the highest scores.
Looking at the larger picture, experts who specialize in governance relate a country’s level of corruption to long-term economic growth and investment. In Asia, this means countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong which have made concerted efforts to stamp out corruption have witnessed higher growth and FDI inflows as compared to country’s such as Myanmar which was ranked amongst the world’s most corrupt countries by TI. Of the emerging countries, Malaysia ranks high, followed by Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines in that order.
While lower oil prices signal a short term gain for consumers and businesses, it also means lower spending on renewable energy by businesses and a drop in income for countries that are increasing their share of renewable energy. Crude prices which soared this summer, have sizzled down to US$40 a barrel and are expected to tumble further. Sinking oil prices also reduce the political will to push ahead with costly renewable energy projects and reduce the urgency to prioritize energy policy debates and incentives on topics ranging from auto efficiency to offshore drilling. Before renewable energy takes a backseat, and the world clamors after black gold again, 2point6billion takes a look at the various forms of renewable energy.
Renewable energy has a three fold role in emerging Asia – it helps nations develop while protecting the economy, it brings electricity to rural areas where natural resources used for renewable energy are abundant and fossil fuels can be difficult and expensive to procure and it provides a livelihood by creating rural businesses.
China’s trade with India is growing faster than its trade with any other country. By 2015, both nations are expected to increase bilateral trade to become each others largest trading partners. China is already India’s largest trading partner, while India is one of China’s largest trading partners following Japan and the U.S.
China-India trade hit a record US$29 billion during the first half of 2008, growing at 69 percent year on year. Sino-India trade clocked US$38.6 billion in 2007, trade sources told the Financial Express.
While India is known to import more from China than she exports to the middle kingdom, trade experts believe bilateral trade is on track. Sino-India trade is expected to reach US$60 billion by 2010, a target set by both Prime Ministers in 2005.
Here’s wishing all 2point6billion readers a warm, Merry Christmas!! Enjoy the Asian version of popular Christmas songs we all know and love to sing!Click on the pictures to view the songs in their Asian avataar.
American auto sales plunged 37 percent in November, the worst in 26 years. European new-passenger-car sales slumped 26 percent in November and now its Asia’s turn. While auto sales have crashed in most Asian countries Japan has taken the hardest hit.
Optimistic forecasts say Japan’s car sales next year could fall to the lowest in 31 years. Sales of trucks, buses, cars and mini cars, may fall 4.9 percent to 4.86 million vehicles in 2009 from estimated 5.11 million in 2008, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association told Bloomberg. The tally would be the lowest since 1978 when automakers sold 4.68 million units.
Toyota, Japan’s top automaker that makes the Camry sedan and Prius hybrid, has already slashed its profit forecast for the fiscal year through March to US$5.9 billion, or about a third of its previous year’s earnings. Expectations are rife another downward revision is coming. Honda Japan’s second-largest automaker, cut its annual profit outlook 62 percent.
Come the holiday season and the Asian tourism industry is sure to be thrice hit, once with reduced international travelers dampened by the financial crisis, twice by political instability in prime tourist locations such as Thailand and India and thrice by weakening local currencies. However Asian hospitality personnel are not too worried, while they know tourism arrivals will soften they also seem assured that Asian’s will travel, if not internationally at least regionally.
Additionally, budget hotels and airlines, such as Tiger Airways, AirAsia Bhd. and Jetstar buoyed by value for money offers are expecting to see increased profits during he holiday season. Top Asian tourist destinations affected by unrest India and Thailand, both have announced lowered air fares and room rates to lure more tourists during this peak season.
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